The Same Thing, Only Slower.

Saturday I drove for 17 hours, which included more Northern Virginia traffic than I ever want to see again. We were dropping our niece with her parents in Maryland and our middle son off at a STEM camp, located on the campus of a small college in Pennsylvania. In retrospect, the trip was a bit ambitious, because I was completely wiped out the next day.

Two days of not riding, which my knee seemed to appreciate.

Monday my cousin drove up and brought his bike, a nice Ridley Damocles. I took him out on one of the same out-and backs I have been doing for the past week. A decent amount of climbing over 50 miles, but nothing excessive. This is a tall, skinny kid in good shape, still blessed with the recovery powers of youth. Twenty years younger than me.

Perhaps I should have dialed it back a bit.

I should have known it was going to take a while when we hit my first landmark two minutes later than my easy pace. That was a little over four miles in, but I figured he was metering out his efforts for a strong finish. That was completely disproved ten miles later, as waypoint after waypoint were reached far behind my most conservative estimates. I rode slowly, trying to pace him. I rode ahead, trying to act as a carrot. I rode off into the distance, breathing though my nose, so he could suffer alone. At the beginning I would stop at the top and circle until he finally reached me, then I would slowly pull away on the descent without trying. Eventually I got tired of waiting and rode down to him and climbed back up.

Hill after hill.

The last 20 or so miles he was running on pure stubbornness, because that's all he had left. I would have felt bad, but I haven't been able to drop anyone since Pete left town (especially on a climb), so I made sure to stock up on the sensation. Sucks to be him.

Towards the end I was going to suggest he turn his bike around so he could go faster, but even a giant douchebag like me has some measure of restraint. By the time we reached the car, he looked kinda grey. He was done.

Perhaps I should have dialed it back a bit.

Next week he's coming back up to the farm. We'll see if he brings the bike. 

Maybe some hills this time.

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